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Fishbowl Helmet

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So how come the woman doesn't need a spacesuit to go with her helmet?

Want to be able to breathe in outer space or underwater? Easy — just place a fishbowl or a similar object on your head, and you're good to go.

Commonly seen in older works of fiction featuring astronauts and aquanauts so characters' faces could be clearly seen. NASA astronauts wore plexiglass fishbowl helmets throughout the Apollo program, although this was eventually abandoned in favor of sturdier designs with bubble face plates.

Not to be confused with Mobile Fishbowl. Compare Artificial Gill. For characters who don't even need a fishbowl, see Batman Can Breathe in Space and Super Not-Drowning Skills.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Space Adventure Cobra: In "Magic Doll", the alien Jeeta looks like a fish-headed humanoid with a glass helmet filled with water, since he's aquatic. It's later revealed that Jeeta can removes the helmet entirely with the "head" still inside, which is an independent fish-like creature, turning it into a literal fishbowl. The headless humanoid body is described as a nearly brainless host, with which the fish has a symbiotic relationship when on dry land.


    Comic Books 
  • When the Legion of Super-Heroes first appeared, Cosmic Boy was wearing a glass globe of a helmet. It was the '50s and he was from space and the future. Later incarnations of him and the Legion have invisible means of maintaining a breathable atmosphere for themselves when needed.
  • Dreamy Smurf wears this as Astro Smurf in the comic book and Animated Adaptation versions of The Smurfs story "The Astro Smurf". In a one-page gag where Dreamy visits Smurfette, Dreamy accidentally mistakes Smurfette's fishbowl for his helmet and leaves her house wearing her fishbowl on his head.
  • Spider-Man:
    • The villain Mysterio is infamous for the glass helmet he wears that looks like a fish bowl. Although it's used more to protect himself from his own hallucinatory gas.
    • Mysterio's parody from Earth-7840 (the 'Mazing Man-Spider world) IS a fish swimming inside the fishbowl helmet, called "Fish-Terio".
  • Wonder Woman (1942): The red Hazmat Suit that Wonder Woman wears to protect herself from dangerous levels of radiation has a clear fishbowl helmet.

    Comic Strips 
  • Garfield wears one of these while pretending to be an astronaut, much to Jon's frustration about his missing goldfish that the fishbowl used to house.

     Fan Works  

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Spider-Man: Far From Home, Mysterio wears a higher-tech version of his traditional helmet, shaped like a sphere, which can retract around his neck. It turns out to actually be one of his holograms, but he does have a real helmet as a piece of his mocap outfit.

  • Discworld: In The Last Hero, Leonard of Quirm's spacesuit includes a fishbowl helmet, which his notes say are to allow him to observe as much as possible. (Carrot has a helmet based on his standard Watch armour with a faceplate added, and Rincewind has a leather helmet with two eyeholes.)
  • Fritz Leiber's A Pail Of Air: A lot of survival equipment had to be made out of whatever was available. The EVA suits' headpieces used to be "big double-duty transparent food cans".
  • Brian Aldiss's A Science Fiction Omnibus: The 1986 cover of the Omnibus has a bubble-headed spacefaring adventurer on an alien planet with a dinosaur.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In a skit of The Benny Hill Show, Hill as Fred Scuttle is being interviewed, and brings on little Jackie Wright wearing a giant fishbowl as part of his space uniform.
    Henry McGee: Will he be able to live in it?
    Fred Scuttle: I should think so, sir. Our goldfish lived in it for three weeks.
  • In one of the funniest sequences in the entire history of a very funny show, The Beverly Hillbillies had Jethro wanting to be an astro-nut (sic). Jed says that it's ok, "That boy ain't got nothin' in his head but space" to which Granny cracks up, and Jed says "Let me put that another way". Then Jethro walks clumsily past them, wearing aluminum foil wrapped around his body to simulate a space-suit, a television antenna strapped to his back to simulate his communications system, and a literal fish-bowl as a helmet. Granny and Jed watch him stagger across the room while the studio audience is laughing hysterically, and as he leaves, Jed says "You know, I think I'll just let one stand."
  • In Captain Video, the spacemen's helmets looked like inverted fishbowls. Given the notoriously low budget of the series, they might well have been.
  • The Goodies on their trip to the Moon had a goldfish swimming around inside their helmet. Then Bill's helmet becomes an over-inflated balloon helmet when he turns up the oxygen too high.

    Video Games 
  • In Kingdom of Loathing, a fishbowl is one of three components needed to craft makeshift scuba gear.
  • In MDK2, Professor Hawkins, a scientist who works through MacGyvering all kinds of available items, uses a fishbowl as a helmet (a real fishbowl — the fish was sent out a few minutes earlier to override some underwater controls) and two horseshoe magnets as boots, in order to cross the space between two sections of his ship.
  • RuneScape has a quest ("Recipe for Disaster") that has the player turn a glass fishbowl into a diving helmet for an extended dive.
  • In the VGA remake of Space Quest 1, Roger Wilco has to don a blue spacesuit with a helmet like this at the start of the game, otherwise exiting the Arcada's airlock without it results in an explosive end for Roger. Later in the game, he also takes the helmet off to use objects or talk to NPCs on planet Kerona.
  • Subnautica: You can find a poster with a picture of a kitten wearing a fishbowl helmet, and the slogan KEEP CALM.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • In Super Mario Sunshine, Mario wears one during the missions "Red Coins in a Bottle", "Eely-Mouth's Dentist" and "The Red Coin Fish". The helmet doesn't allow him to breathe underwater forever, though, it just slows down the rate the Oxygen Meter depletes.
    • In Super Paper Mario, Mario and his party need one (minus the fish originally occupying it) to be able to breathe in space. Yes, one. Even though there's three characters in Mario's party (at the time), they apparently only need to breathe when they're the active character. It even changes size depending on who's wearing it.
  • Inverted in Terraria. Wearing a fishbowl not only doesn't allow you to breathe underwater, but instead drowns you even in land.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers episode "Out to Launch", Ditzy Genius mouse Gadget Hackwrench constructs a spacesuit from a rubber glove and a glass jar. Plausible, in that Gadget spent less than a minute outside a pressurized spacecraft.
  • There's an episode of Family Guy where a black hole is supposedly about to destroy the world, and Mayor West decides to retaliate by attacking space; he dons a jetpack, then dumps a fishbowl and puts it on his head.
  • Josie and the Pussycats: Sebastian the cat plunks an actual fishbowl over his head in order to rescue Josie and the Pussycats from prison capsules on the ocean floor. Thanks to Cartoon Physics, this works.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In "Sparkle's Seven", Pinkie's Imagine Spot has her and Gummy wearing spacesuits with the helmets looking like fishbowls. Later, she put on actual fishbowls on her head and Gummy's as she's planning to go to space on the Friendship Balloon.
  • In The Smurfs episode "Dreamy's Pen Pals", the sequel to the Animated Adaptation of "The Astro Smurf", Brainy and Clumsy also wear fishbowl helmets along with Dreamy as they "visit" the planet of the Swoofs a second time.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • Sandy wears one so that she can survive underwater. Although she does wear a suit, it looks more like a space suit than scuba gear, and as shown in the episode "Pressure", it doesn't really seem to do anything; it's the helmet that matters. When she takes it off to prove a point (and fails), she saves herself by putting a pickle jar on her head.
    • Inverted with SpongeBob and Patrick. When they visit Sandy's treedome, they have to wear fishbowl helmets filled with water. Sometimes they don't.

    Real Life 
  • The Apollo/Skylab A7L featured a fishbowl helmet. For moonwalks and spacewalks, astronauts wore an additional visor assembly on top of that.


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